MAY BE YOU HAVE LEUCORRHOEA…
What is Leucorrhoea?
Leucorrhoea (Vaginitis) is a common gynecological problem faced by many women of all ages across the globe. It is a condition, where a whitish fluid is discharged from the genitals of a woman. To maintain a healthy vagina and flush out harmful microorganisms from the vagina, the body discharges a pale white and odorless fluid. But when there is an infection in the vagina, the discharge takes on a different form and is called leucorrhoea. Normally, vaginal discharge happens in regular variations of amount and consistency during the menstrual cycle. A greater than usual amount is normal in pregnancy, and a decrease is to be expected after delivery, during lactation, and after menopause.
Types of Leucorrhoea
There are two types of leucorrhoea namely: physiological and pathological. Physiological leucorrhoea occurs due to a change in estrogen levels, which may be caused due to change in hormones during pregnancy, ovulation, or sexual excitement. It is generally harmless and may not be needed to be worried about.
However, Pathological Leucorrhoea could be due to nutritional deficiencies or dysfunction in the genital tract and could be indicative of an infection or an underlying gynecological condition.
Symptoms of Leucorrhoea
The whitish fluid discharge is mostly experienced in the course of puberty, while the sexual structures of the female are evolving. The pH balance of the vagina fluctuates during the cycle and is the least acidic on the days just before and during menstruation.
So, risks of infections are maximized during this time in some of the tissues of the vagina. Symptoms of leucorrhoea can include; whitish discharge from the vagina thick, viscid as well as foul-smelling discharge, pain in the lumbar region and the calves, pain during sexual intercourse, black patches under the eyes, spots on undergarments, dragging sensation in the abdomen, intense itching in the genital region, constipation, irritability, headaches.
Diagnosis of Leucorrhoea
The diagnosis of leucorrhoea is an essential factor as its advanced stage is very complicated and can lead to cancer also. So, for investigation purposes, cytological examination (Pap smear), cervical punch biopsy, cervical culture, hematological investigation (Hb%, TLC, DLC, ESR), serological investigations (VDRL, HIV), and urine examination (routine & microscopic) are needed.
Causes of Leucorrhoea
The main causes of leucorrhoea in the majority of women includes the following causes:
- Fungal infections: Fungus like Candida albicans when infecting the vaginal tract leads to the discharge of white, thick fluid with a stinging sensation.
- Sexually transmitted disease (STD): Bacteria like Trichomonasvaginalisleads to deep-rooted infections in the female reproductive organ which leads to heavy discharge of yellowish or greenish fluid from the vagina.
- Pelvis inflammation: The pelvis portion becomes inflamed due to infection-causing leucorrhoea.
- Cervix related problems: Cervix erosion and cervix polyps’ formation may lead to the discharge of heavy brown colored fluid resembling clotted blood from the vaginal region.
- Unhealthy hygiene: Sharing public toilets, lack of cleanliness of reproductive organs during menstrual periods, use of cloth material instead of a sanitary pad usually leads to infection resulting in leucorrhoea.
Ayurvedic perspective of Leucorrhoea
Ayurveda considers Leucorrhoea to be a metabolic disorder arising due to malfunctioning of basic units of life known as Dhatus. Lifestyle modalities in terms of actions and diet which alter the secretions in the body are the prime causative factors. However, according to charak and vagbhatthe symptoms of kaphajayonivyapada are similar to that of shwetapradar. As per Charaka vitiatedkaphaespecially of abhishyandiguna (a property to block and infect body channels) infects the yoni (vagina) of a female and produces sticky, unctuous, cold, and white discharge from the vagina which is associated with itching and pain. Some of the ayurvedic remedies for the treatment of leucorrhoea mentioned in the Charaksamhita and literature areas:
- Use of a combination of Praval (Coral) Bhasma, Trivangbhasma with rice water relieves the leucorrhoea.
- Licking of powdered Shadawasa (a variety of Setariaetallica) mixed with oil of tila for seven consecutive days’ is reported to relieve symptoms of leucorrhoea.
- Use of nagakeshar with chakra (buttermilk) followed by a diet of only cooked rice and take can cure leucorrhoea only within three days.
- Ashoka, Godhra, putradanti, Kasane, shvetbij are found to be useful to enhance the blood flow to the genital passage area to keep vaginal discharge away.
- Pataltumbi, smundarphal and mental keep infections away and protect the genital passage area.
- Tapsivni, mochas enhance the overall health of the vagina and makes the skin hydrated.
- Kandera, pipal and eshkpencha are astringents that control infections.